Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA)

Critical Dates

Now open

Internal UoM submission of NoI for DE25

Thursday 12 October 2023

DE25 Applications open in RMS (Instructions to Applicants released on this date)

Thursday 19 October 2023

DECRA and Future Fellowships RIC Seminar - register here

Monday 6 November 2023

DE25 Eligibility Exemption Request due to RIC (if applicable)

Early November 2023

DE25 Establishment Grant requests due (see 'Establishment Grants for ARC DECRA' heading for further details)

Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 November 2023

DE25 Submit review ready application to RIC & Upload NIT statement to RMS for Faculty Review

9am Monday 20 November 2023

DE25 Request not to assess due to RIC (if applicable)

Thursday 23 November 2023

DE25 Request not to assess due to ARC, submitted by RIC on applicant's behalf (if applicable)

9am, Friday 1 December 2023

DE25 Final Application Submission due to RIC

Thursday 7 December 2023

DE25 Final Applications due to ARC, submitted by RIC on applicant's behalf

Thursday 28 March to Monday 15 April 2024

DE25 Rejoinders open and close

Monday 2 September - Friday 13 September 2024

DE25 Outcomes


Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) supports early career researchers who have typically received their PhD in the last five years or have eligible commensurate career disruption.

The DECRA scheme aims to:

  • support outstanding early-career researchers with demonstrated capacity for high-quality research and emerging capability for leadership and supervision;
  • foster collaboration, with national or international researchers;
  • support excellent and innovative research that addresses a significant problem or gap in knowledge and represents value for money;
  • create new or advanced knowledge resulting from the outcomes of the research with economic, commercial, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia; and
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways in high-quality and supportive environments.


The criteria weighting is as followed:

  • Investigator/Capability: 35%
  • Project Quality and Innovation: 35%
  • Benefit: 15%
  • Feasibility: 15%

***Please note this weighting has changed from previous rounds, with a decrease of weighting by 15% in Investigator/Capability, a 10% increase in Project Quality and Innovation and a 5% increase in Feasibility.***


The scheme provides funding for up to 200 projects per round. Funding is awarded by the ARC of up to $162,897 per annum for three years, with a per annum salary contribution of $112,897 (this includes 30 per cent on-costs), and up to $50,000 per annum for project costs. Project costs can be used to hire research assistants, support HDR students, or fund equipment, consumables, field research, travel, and dissemination costs. See Section 5 of the Discovery Program Grant Guidelines - Fellowships (2023 Edition) for more information.


Establishment Grants are internal University of Melbourne grants that support ARC DECRA recipients at the university. To be eligible for Chancellery support, matching funding must be provided by the host department/school/faculty on a 1:1 basis. Applications for Establishment Grants should be requested at the ARC DECRA application stage. Each faculty has their own internal requirements to apply for this grant. Refer to Establishment Grants for ARC DECRAs for details on how to apply.


IMPORTANT: It is mandatory for your ‘C2 Administering Organisation Letter of Support’ to be submitted for review and approval. As this is an official statement from the university, a final version needs to be officially approved through RIC before it is uploaded it into RMS.

Please note that this letter must be written by the applicant in consultation with the proposed host School/Department/Faculty. The requirements for review vary depending on faculty. Please view your faculty requirements here. When drafting your statement, you must use the university approved template and consult the university guide (these two documents can be accessed below under Supporting documents > RIC Documents and Resources).


Candidates may be nominated for the DECRA twice over the period in which they are eligible. This includes applications that are withdrawn after the grant closing date or those that are deemed ineligible.

For information regarding project limits under the ARC Discovery Program please consult the Grant Guidelines.


An Active Project refers to an ARC Project that is receiving funding according to the terms of the original Funding Agreement, or has any carryover funds approved by the ARC, or an approved variation to the Project’s end date. Therefore, if a project has carried forward any funding and the end date has changed, the NEW end date determines if the project is active. Active projects can be viewed via the applicants RMS profile by selecting Person Profile > Current ARC Projects> End Date. Please note that projects with Final Reports due are not considered active projects.

The Active Project Assessment Date is a scheme-specific date which considers Active Projects (as per the above definition) and Projects under assessment. This date is important as it is used to assess applicant's cross-scheme eligibility, i.e. whether they are within the limits of the number of ARC applications and projects a participant can be named on.

The ARC will calculate active projects as at the closing time of submission of Proposals (and may calculate this rule again as other scheme rounds’ announcements are made and End of Year Reports are submitted).

The key dates for the DE25 round are:

DE25 Funding Commencement Date: 1 January 2025

DE25 Active Project Assessment Date: 1 July 2025

Note: An applicant cannot apply for a DECRA if it will put them over the project limit at the Active Project Assessment Date. For the purposes of eligibility, both awarded projects and under assessment projects counts towards project limits for the DECRA scheme. For example, an applicant can apply for the DECRA scheme if they have one Discovery Project (DP) (either awarded or under assessment) which ends after the Active Project Assessment Date. However, an applicant cannot apply for the DECRA scheme if they have two Discovery Projects (either awarded or under assessment) that will end after the Active Project Assessment Date.


Research outputs must first be added to an applicant's ARC Research Management System (RMS) profile before they can be selected for inclusion on an application. The University's recommended approach is to export research outputs from Elements as a BibTeX file and then import this file into RMS to achieve best data integrity.

Please contact your local Faculty Research Office or for help with the process or to amend data in Elements.

Further resources to assist with managing Research Outputs are available below under Supporting documents > Research Outputs.


If you have a conflict of interest with a researcher from an external institution it is possible to request that they not be considered as a potential detailed assessor for your application. More details about this can be found on the ARC Request Not to Assess webpage.

How to apply

  1. Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI)

    The NOI should be completed early to provide RIC with DECRA candidate contact details and to ensure the candidate is added to the email list. There is no deadline for submission of the NOI.

  2. Update RMS profile

    Candidates must obtain access to RMS and update their profile information (see RMS information)

  3. Review documentation

    Review the Grant Guidelines, the Instructions to Applicants and the Changes documents.

  4. Complete the draft application

    Log on to RMS to complete the draft application.

  5. Administering Organisation Letter of Support

    Work on the Statement with your supervisor and Department/Faculty.  Please see Faculty specific review instructions here.

  6. Eligibility Exemption Request

    If applicable, complete the Eligibility Exemption Request form. This is a spreadsheet that details career interruptions for applicants whose PhD was awarded prior to the DE25 eligible PhD award date of 1 March 2019. The form is available here.

    This form must be sent to by Monday 6 November 2023 so that RIC can arrange for the DVC(R) to certify eligibility.

  7. Submit 'Review ready'* application to RIC (optional) and upload NITS into RMS (mandatory)

    Submit application to RIC ( within the RIC internal submission period Monday 6 to Wedneday 8 November 2023. Include the following:

    • An electronic copy of the complete review ready draft application downloaded as a PDF from RMS.
    • Applicants from Architecture, Building and Planning; Arts; Law; Education; and Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences  please send your Administering Organisation Letter of Support in a Word document (using the template letterhead provided below). Email this along with your application to Applicants from all other faculties will have their statements reviewed by their faculties - see here for details.
    • *A review ready application consists of:

      Part A - Administrative Summary

      Part B - Participant Details including ROPE

      Part C - Project Description (reviews will benefit most from a C1 that is largely complete; in the case where certain sections are missing, RIC will provide generic guidance on how to complete missing sub-sections.)

      Part D - Project Cost

      Part E - Classifications and Other Statistical Information

      Part F -  Project Eligiblity


    All applicants (regardless of whether submitting application for RIC review) MUST upload their NITS (National Interest Test Statement, Section A5) into RMS by 5pm Wednesday 8 November 2023. This allows for your NITS to be viewed and approved by your Faculty prior to DVC(R) certification. NITS must be approved and certified by the DVC(R) prior to submission of your final application to ARC.

  8. Application review

    Two RIC staff members will review the application and provide the applicant with feedback via email.

  9. Complete the application

    After taking feedback from the RIC team into consideration, complete the application in RMS. It is suggested advice is sought from colleagues, Faculty Mentors, etc. before finalising the application.

  10. Submit the UOM Authority to Submit form

    The Authority to Submit form must be submitted to RIC via email to by no later than 9am Friday 1 December 2023. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of the Head of Department

    Please note that we cannot arrange HoD signing for you, this must be done by the applicant. Electronic signatures are permitted.

    This is an ARC requirement and the application cannot be submitted to ARC until received.

  11. Final submission

    By 9am Friday 1 December 2023, the applicant must:

    • Submit final application by clicking ‘Submit to Research Office’ in RMS
    • Email RIC ( a PDF copy of the final application and a scanned, signed Authority to Submit form

    Note: Applications without a completed Authority to Submit form cannot be submitted to the ARC

  12. RIC will submit the application

    Once the application has been submitted to ARC, you will receive an email from RIC confirming submission.

Supporting documents

ARC Documents and Resources

RIC Documents and Resources

(UoM login required for some of the following documents/links. Please email or your faculty research office if you require copies)

Research Outputs


  • RIC FT24 and DE25 Information Webinar - Recording - Slides - Q&A (updated 19/10/2023)
  • NITS Writing Workshop slides and recording 7/11/2023 (UoM login required)
  • 2024 DECRA Info Webinar - 27 October 2022 - Slides - Video
  • 2023 DECRA Info Webinar & Budgets - 16 November 2021 - Slides - Video


Note: Assessor comments should only include details on Investigator/Capability, Project Quality and Innovation, Benefit, and Feasibility. Assessors should not be commenting on Eligibility and Compliance. If you identify an assessment that contains inappropriate elements you may wish to have this reviewed by the ARC. You can do this by completing an ARC Assessment Review Request form within 3 working days after the opening of the Rejoinder period. Please note that applicants should never contact the ARC directly. Always speak to your Faculty or RIC first.


DECRA questions and primary email

Key contacts

Joy Liu +61 3 8344 4896
Leah Sullivan +61 3 8344 2012